FILM index

FILM INDEX continued

A Matter Of Life And Death (PG) ***** (Michael Powell/Emeric Pressburger, UK, 1946) David Niven, Kim Hunter, Roger Livesy, Raymond Massey. 104 mins. Wonderful film that rises above its beginnings as a piece of wartime propaganda about goodwill between Britain and the USA. Niven is an RAF pilot who finds himself before a heavenly tribunal when he bales out of his burning plane. A witty and stylish fantasy with a fair share of on-target satire. Kirkcaldy: Adam Smith. Maybe Baby (15) iii (Ben Elton, UK, 2000) Hugh Laurie, Joely Richardson, Joanna Lumley. 90 mins. Sam (Laurie) and Lucy (Richardson) are happy in love and successful at work (he‘s a BBC commissioning editor and she's a theatrical agent). The only blot on this idyllic London landscape is that the couple desperately want a baby to fulfil their blissful lives. Written and directed by Elton, it's no surprise that there are some very funny lines in a film that's destined to be heralded as the new Four ll'eddings. Galashiels: Pavilion. The Mighty (PG) ** (Peter Chelsom, US, 1998) Sharon Stone, Gena Rowlands, Harry Dean Stanton. 99 mins. Adults may be drawn by the heavyweight acting talents, but will then be left agog as the two nippers combining to become one chivalrous champion of the oppressed called Freak the Mighty foil abusive thugs with little more than water pistols and integrity. Younger viewers, on the other hand, will tap into the boys' imagination, but might be disturbed by the heart-rending scenes towards the end. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.

The Million Dollar Hotel (15) ** (Wim Wenders, US, 2000) Jeremy Davies, Milla .lovovich, Mel Gibson. 122 mins. Wenders focused shrewdly on character and landscape in his road movies, Alice In The Cities and Paris, Texas. Here, with the characters holed up in the hotel of the title, Wenders' appears as hemmed in and listless as the various 'losers' he attempts to dignify. There is a plot of sorts: Gibson's physically

art loving, comedy laug'i‘n‘gg; attraction visiting, theatre


and psychologically scarred FBI agent determines to identify the killer ofone of the hotel‘s inhabitants. The final diagnosis, then, is that this is Wenders' worst movie. Edinburgh: Lumiere.

The Miracle Maker (U) ** (Stanislav Sokolov, Derek Ilayes, UK. 2000) Ralph Fiennes, Julie Christie, Richard E Grant. 91 mins. Miracles may never cease, undoubtedly the reasoning behind previous attempts to render the Easter Story palatable. The latest gimmick is to add puppets, which, although oddly dated, impresses on its own low tech level. Despite deftly tugging at the heartstrings, the puppetry can't disguise the fact that this is a Sunday school reading in a millennial medium. Edinburgh: Lumiere.

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50 THE LIST 20 Jul—3 Aug 2000

. of nostalgic whimsy. Edinburgh: Lumiere.


George Clooney sails his fishing vessel crew into the storm of the century in Wolfgang Petersen's true story adventure, The Perfect Storm

Modesty Blaise (PG) it“: (Joseph Losey, UK, 1966) Monica Vitti, Dirk Bogarde, 'I‘crence Stamp. 119 mins. Amidst a welter of silly Sixties comic strip capers, this typically outre Losey effort still seems a weirdie. Starring glacial Antonioni regular Vitti as the eponymous heroine trying to stop Dirk Bogarde‘s camper than camp criminal mastermind from taking over the world, it‘s the wonderful op-art sets and delightfully dated costumerie (dig that silver wig, Dirk baby) that still hold the attention because the parodic gags and deliberately stoopid plotting never were as funny as the film-makers seemed to pretend. Glasgow: G 171‘.

A Monkey's Tale (PG) **** (Jean- iirancois Laguionie, UKi’France, 2000) Voices of John Hurt, Michael York, Rik Mayall. 76 mins. A monkey community torn apart by post-earthquake floods re-build their shattered lives. Some flee to the treetops while others salvage what's left on the ground. Decades pass and suspicion, ignorance and prejudice breed hatred, but change is finally wrought by a loveable rogue who innocently questions the regime. Animation with a message that isn't schmaltzy, but charming. General release. Much Ado About Nothing (PG) **** (Kenneth Branagh, UK"US, 1993) Denzel Washington, Kenneth Branagh, Emma Thompson, Keanu Reeves. 111 mins. A lusty, lively version of Shakespeare‘s comedy of love and deceit, set in the sun- drenched Tuscan hills. Barbed witticism fly across the screen as British thesps and American stars acquit themselves with honours. Edinburgh: Lumiere.

Mulan (U) **** (Barry Cook, 'l‘ony Bancroft, 1998) Voices of: Ming-Na Wen, Donny Osmond, Eddie Murphy. 89 mins. After Disney's tastily designed venture into Greek mythology with Hercules, the studio has brought its lens to bear on the rich and colourful possibilities of Chinese legend. The most striking aspect of this romantic epic is its magnificent animation. Details of character, movement and expression are as fine as should be expected from the world's best known cartoon studio, but the stunning large-scale set pieces are truly astonishing, while the design team stirs in an authentic flavour of China. Glasgow: ()deon.

My Life So Far (12) it (Hugh Hudson, UK, 2000) Robert Norman, Rosemary Harris, Malcolm McDowell, Colin Firth. 98 mins. Everything in Hugh Hudson‘s film is about to change. I-‘raser l’ettigtew (Norman) is about to go from childhood innocence to sexualised adolescence. The Scottish estate of the elderly matriarch Gamma (Harris) is about to be passed onto a new generation, either her go-ahead capitalist son (McDowell) or her dithering romantic nephew Edward (Firth). (ienteel affluence is about to give way to wartime hardship. Loosely based on the memoirs of Sir Denis Forman, My Life So Far would love to be a play by Chekhov. Instead it's a mushy piece

Nora (18) tit (Pat Murphy, Uk, 2000) Susan Lynch, Ewan McGregor. 106 mins. A period drama recounting the early struggles of modernist and post-modernist literary genius, James Joyce, Nora is more interesting as a study of Nora Barnacle, a free-spirited and highly courageous young woman. Murphy film, adapted from Brenda Maddox's acclaimed book about their lifelong love affair, follows the early years of their tempestuous relationship, made so by Joyce’s unrelentingjealousy and Nora's submissive dotage. Excellent performances from the leads make this worth watching. Edinburgh: Lumiere. Falkirk: I-TH Cinema. Kirkcaldy: Adam Smith. Stirling: MacRobert.

Nosferatu (PG) ***** (l'IW. Murnau, Germany, 1922) Max Schreck, Alexander Granach, Gustav von Wangenheim. 72 mins. Schreck is a truly terrifying figure as Bram Stoker‘s famous vampire, looking more like a skinned bat than a human being. A wonderfully visual movie, with twisted shadows and sexual undercurrents placing it well above the Kinski/Ilerzog remake. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.

Not One Less (PG) humid (Zhang Yimou, China, 2000) Wei Minzhi. 100 mins. A teacher of a small school in an isolated, impoverished village is forced to leave the education of his 28 pupils in the hands of 13-year-old substitute Wei Minzhi for a month. But with poverty forcing over one million students to leave school to look for work every year in China. Wei is set the task of retrieving a desperate student from the big city. Essentially, this is a personal interest perspective on a dramatic social problem. The cast comprises non- professionals, and the calibre of the heart- rending performance by Minzhi makes the film all the more impressive. Edinburgh: Cameo.

Of Freaks And Men (18) ***** (Alexei Balabanov, Russia, 1998) Sergei Makovetsky, Victor Sukhorukov, Dinara Drukarova. 93 mins. A homage to early cinema in its use ofsilent film plot aids and sepia-tinted monochrome cinematography, the story follows the predatory exploits of Johann, a fiendish purveyor of early pornography set in turn of the century St Petersburg. With the aid of his grinning idiot henchman, Victor, the porn ring widens to engulf the lives of two noble families, exposing the humorous and startling underbelly of depravity beneath the austere trappings of the Russian bourgeoisie. l’art absurdist farce. part surreal fetishistic nightmare. Kirkcaldy: Adam Smith. Onegin (12) *‘kt‘k (Martha l-‘iennes, UK. 1999) Ralph Eiennes, Liv Tyler. 100 mins. Alexander l’ushkin's epic poem. [:‘vgt-ny ()negin, is the source of l-‘iennes's impressive debut film. which hurls its characters through an intensity of passion, betrayal and unbearable loss within the thoroughly elegant and codified context of the Russian aristocracy of the 1820s. Ralph liiennes's ()negin is an initially arrogant.